Gators Eat Sharks?


Hannah Rola, Senior Features Editor

It is common knowledge at Sacred Heart that sharks eat gators. Whenever a SHA team faces off against the Nardin Gators, our biggest rivals, that statement is made loud and clear by Shark fans and teammates.

Sadly, according to National Geographic, studies show that gators may in fact be the ones eating sharks. Previously thought of as two species that never interacted, new findings reveal the remains of sharks in alligators’ stomachs. Scientists are shocked at these findings, partially due to the fact that alligators normally inhabit freshwater while sharks live in salt water. However, they both have been known to venture into the territories of each other and are considered extremely opportunistic hunters. So although it is rare, there are indeed instances of the two hunters preying on each other.

In most cases, the alligators have been the ones with shark remains in their stomachs, but there are reports of sharks attacking alligators. In 1877, there was an instance where fish off the Florida coast were trapped near shore due to high tide, and reportedly hundreds of alligators went to hunt them. Sharks also moved to this prime hunting ground, and began to encounter and fight alligators. For the next few days, both shark and alligator corpses washed up on the shore, indicating the attacks that took place between the two species. There are also fossils of ancient crocodilian relatives that have ancient shark bites, indicating that the two species may be ancient enemies.

In modern times, such large interactions are rare, which may be due to the fact that both species have seen a decline in their populations. Still, James Nifong, an ecologist at Kansas State University, has documented four cases of alligators preying on smaller sharks and other related species, such as rays. Similarly, in Australia there have been accounts where people claimed to have seen saltwater crocodiles hunting bull sharks in the ocean.

Although gators have been found, on various occasions, to eat sharks, we all know that Buffalo is the exception to the rule. In Buffalo, Sharks always eat Gators.